Baua (Baltic Architects Unions Association) Exhibition

The theme of the 2011 UIA Congress was ‘Design 2050’ – the urban future and architecture’s impact on its development. BAUA participated with the concept ‘Globe – shape your future!’, a large plastic orb covered with Plasticine onto which visitors were asked to sculpt their visions of the future.

When considering the nature of the Congress and scale of exhibitions happening simultaneously, the architects thought it was necessary to communicate through a simple but strong concept to present who they are and what they think.  The challenge was to design the fair pavilion for installation on the allocated 15 square meter space.  The result is a simplicity-driven symbiosis of Nordic and Oriental minimalism.

Contemporary architecture is questioned whether it can play a significant role to support the quality of human life and surrounding environment in the year 2050 and beyond.  After experiencing a disaster in the northern part of Japan, our responsibilities weigh especially heavier.  BAUA are sure that neither one single vision nor one superstar can create a suitable environment for this task.  The future is a collection of actions by all participants.  What the architects provided was a platform for discussions and demonstrations through a playful material which everyone has played with in their childhood, without restricting imagination.  In other words it was to simulate how our environment develops by series of actions and the negotiations of different players.

 

The interactive essence of the installation was supported by miniature boxes, folded origami-style from a single piece of paper and containing a small Plasticine ball – gifts for the visitors to take ideas home from the exhibit and share with friends. The BAUA pavilion was a hit: visitors actively participated in the making of future visions by playing with the big ball as well as taking away the small gift boxes.

Prior to the opening, two days of installation and a workshop was held by the BAUA delegation for Japanese university student volunteers.  The playful and artistic imagination surpassed initial expectations.  This successfully initiated the first generation of visions to invite following interactions.  All visitors who enjoyed playing with clay participated in the creation of our future.  Through the smiles and positive comments of the visitors, the architects believe they engaged in meaningful communication and fulfilled their initial tasks.

Indeed, the future is the sum of our collective effort.

 

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